Campaign launched to save the Gwent Levels

Durham Wildlife Trust are urging people to write to the First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones to oppose plans for a 14-mile-long six-lane motorway that will decide the fate of the Gwent Levels. This motorway will cut across wildlife havens and destroy or damage a historic landscape which is Wales’ equivalent to the Amazon rainforest. Rare wildlife such as water voles, otters, and cranes will be badly affected.

Water voles have been discovered thriving across the Gwent Levels after bouncing back from extinction on the internationally-important wetlands of south Wales. Six years ago, Gwent Wildlife Trust reintroduced the endangered species to Magor Marsh nature reserve on the edge of the Levels. New mapping shows that they have bred successfully and spread up to 10 kilometres.

Ian Rappel, chief executive of Gwent Wildlife Trust says:

“The fantastic success of the water vole reintroduction project is a wonderful testament to all the great efforts of volunteers and staff working to enhance the Gwent Levels for wildlife. This beautiful landscape is a nature-lover’s paradise and people really enjoy its peace and tranquillity. But the success is bitter-sweet. If the new road gets the go-ahead billions will be spent destroying a very special place for the sake of saving ten minutes of commuting time.”

Ian Rappel continues: “Gwent Wildlife Trust fought the new road proposals during the Public Inquiry – but now we need everyone who cares about nature to voice their concern about these destructive plans. We believe that Welsh Government should scrap the billion-pound-plus road and invest, instead, in a modern public transport system for the people of Wales.”

Iolo Williams, TV presenter says:

“This road is going to destroy Sites of Special Scientific Interest – these are the jewels in the Welsh crown. This road is going to destroy habitat for otters, for water voles and for cranes which have nested on the Levels for the first time in 400 years. Let’s make sure the Welsh government wakes up to its commitment to future generations. There are better and cheaper alternatives to this idiotic development.

Jim Cokill, Director of Durham Wildlife Trust said, “The Gwent levels may seem unimportant to people in the North East. A place they don’t know and have no attachment to, but this campaign is important to us all. As a society are we going to tolerate the continued destruction of nature on this scale? I don’t think we are and we need to get that message across to politicians and Governments across the UK. These schemes are simply not acceptable”

Take action now and fill in the form http://action.wildlifetrusts.org/page/30798/action/1 to send to the Welsh government asking them to drop plans to build a motorway over the Gwent Levels.